We’ll get to try the near-future face-shooting of Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4 in a free multiplayer open beta weekend in August, developers Treyarch have announced. No, this won’t include that new battle royale mode, Blackout. As a casual observer of Cod I am sorry to see the antics of wallrunning and jetpacking removed this year, though it does have a grappling hook gun and I’m enough of a grapplefan to download the whole dang beta just to try that.
The Cod Blops 4 PC multiplayer beta will start at 6pm (10am Pacific) on Saturday the 11th of August then run until 6pm (same) on Monday the 13th. People who pre-order the full game will get into the beta one whole day early, but obviously we don’t condone pre-ordering.
The test will run through the Battle.net client of Treyarch’s Activision sibling Blizzard, which is increasingly becoming Activision’s own PC store as it also hosts Destiny 2. After a decade or so of running Cod through Steam, they won’t even release Blops 4 there.
Blackout mode will debut in a private beta test in September (presumably only for pre-orders, competition winners, and so on) but it’s not yet clear if that will be on PC too. Treyarch say the Blackout beta will come “first on PlayStation 4”, and that “Actual platform availability and launch date(s) of MP and Blackout Beta subject to change.” So possibly in some form at some point for some people.
Seeing as multiplayer is what Blops 4 is all about, it’s good to taste the gamemeat in advance. Activision’s official line on why there’s no conventional singleplayer this year is that snippets of story are scattered across multiplayer. The unofficial (and unconfirmed) rumour is that campaign development was proceeding too slowly to be ready in time for the mandated annual release, and that’s why they cut it in favour of focusing on multiplayer.
Cod Blops 4 is due to launch on October 12th via the Battle.net client, priced at £50 – or £80 if you want all the planned DLC maps, which will not be sold in individual packs this year. That’s so 2015. We’re all about free post-launch content updates monetised by questionable cosmetic items these days, Grampy Activision.